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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE STARK COUNTY

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE STARK COUNTY COMMISSION September 21, 2022 Vice Chairman Marsh called the special meeting of the Stark County Board of Commissioners to order at 9:02 AM. Commissioners Present: Dean Franchuk, Bernie Marsh, Neal Messer, and Ken Zander. Department Heads Present: Auditor Karen Richard, Sheriff Corey Lee, Road Superintendent Al Heiser, States Attorney Amanda Engelstad, Tax Director Natalie Wandler, Veterans Service Jessica Clifton, Maintenance Mike Dschaak, Park Director Lisa Heiser, County Agent Kurt Froehlich, and Recorder Kim Kasian. Planner Steve Josephson and Emergency Manager Shawna Davenport were present on the phone. Commission Arthaud joined at 9:03 AM. PUBLIC HEARING – BUDGET Arthaud opened the 2023 Budget public hearing at 9:04 AM. There were no comments from the public. Arthaud closed the Budget public hearing at 9:05 AM. 2023 FINAL BUDGET DISCUSSIONS 2023 CONTRIBUTIONS Richard reviewed the 2023 Contributions list with the commission. Arthaud would like to see Domestic Violence increased by another $15,000. Richard presents the DVRCC budget to the commission. Messer questioned the Belfield Ambulance amount of $270,000. Engelstad presents the JPA, it is a 12-month contract that automatically renews and we get billed a year behind, at the end of the year, so the amount could be more or less. Back to Domestic Violence, Zander states there is nothing to prevent DVRCC from coming in throughout the year for some emergency funding. Arthaud thinks it would be easier for them to budget if we give them another $15,000. Marsh is concerned this would become an extra $15,000 in the years to come. Zander would like to see them come in and request the additional funds. Messer believes we shouldn’t hand-pick one organization to give more funds to if they haven’t requested them. Arthaud believes $35,000 isn’t enough. MOTION BY: Commissioner Marsh SECONDED BY: Commissioner Franchuk To approve the 2023 Contributions as presented. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Marsh - aye, Franchuk - aye, Messer - aye, Zander – aye, Chairman Arthaud – nay. Motion Carried. 2023 ARPA FUNDING Richard presents the 2023 ARPA Funding requests and states these are not levied for and the balance of ARPA not yet pledged is $1,988,184.50. Arthaud suggests we could add Domestic Violence to the ARPA contributions such as Elder Care and Stark County Council on Aging were added to catch up on their budgets. Richard states that they both requested those additional funds, we don’t have a request for additional funds from DVRCC. Messer requests the 2023 ARPA Funding be placed at the end of the meeting after the rest of the budget is reviewed. STATE AID DISTRIBUTION Richard presented the current State Aid Distribution percentages and asked the commission if they would like to make any changes or leave the percentages as they are. Any changes made would take place on January 1, 2023. MOTION BY: Commissioner Zander SECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer To approve the State Aid Distribution payments as presented. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Zander - aye, Messer - aye, Franchuk - aye, Marsh – aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. OIL & GAS DISTRIBUTION Richard presented the Oil & Gas Distribution payments received for 2022 and noted these amounts go into the general fund. MOTION BY: Commissioner Zander To approve the Oil & Gas Distribution estimate. DISPOSITION: Zander withdrew his Motion. GOVERNING BOARD The levy amount for 2023 is $150,757.20. Messer asks if the $7000 for travel is accurate. Richard states the motel for the 2021 NDACO conference was paid in 2022, as they didn’t bill us timely, so 2022 travel will be doubled based on this late bill. HUMAN RESOURCES The levy amount for 2023 is $89,484.00. AUDITOR The levy amount for 2023 is $369,421.30. PLANNER The levy amount for 2023 is $83,938.24. Franchuk reports he spoke with the City of Dickinson and they plan to keep Steve Josephson at 50%, but it is awaiting their commission approval. Josephson states the city plans to recruit a full-time planner and fund the county planner at half-time. STATES ATTORNEY The levy amount for 2023 is $717,720.49. Arthaud questioned the 2nd and 3rd assistants’ 2023 salary increases. She states the 3rd assistant was just hired and got a big increase over the 2022 budgeted amount and because of that increase the 2nd assistant was also increased; do we want to give them another increase so soon after receiving those big increases? Engelstad states other counties are looking for state’s attorneys and we had someone apply, but they wanted $118,000 and with our benefits, they were taking a pay cut. There is a shortage of attorneys and we have to pay them or we will be short of help. RECORDER The levy amount for 2023 is $247,997.28. Richard notes the overtime line needs to be lowered by $1000 and the travel line needs to be increased by $1000. Arthaud states if we are making department heads exempt they need the ability to flex hours. Messer states the intent of his motion is if a department head puts in 46 hours in a week then over the next periods we gave them the ability to self-discipline and flex the excess time. Arthaud states she was told the time needs to be flexed in the same week. Kasian presented her average overtime hours for the last 4 years and stated that with the taking away of the overtime if it happens on a Thursday or Friday you can’t flex in the same week. She would like her salary adjusted for the overtime she is out. She states this kind of adjustment was done with Emergency Management. Arthaud states that is because Emergency Management is a 24/7 position. Arthaud asked if all categories have been reviewed and if all department heads are qualified to be moved to salary. Messer stated HR is confident that we can move all department heads to salary. Engelstad states HR sent the requirements to qualify for salary to her office and stated they all qualify and that if anyone had a question about a department head they should have a conversation regarding that particular department. DIRECTOR OF TAX EQUALIZATION The levy amount for 2023 is $201,216.54. Richard states the department head salary line and the GIS Mapping line are being combined. Messer states the City of Richardton Appraisals can be removed. Break 10:07 AM to 10:21 AM Arthaud discusses the moving of department heads to exempt status. She believes we are penalizing them as they are losing money and not getting paid overtime. For the last 4 years, they were paid overtime, now we are just stripping that away from them, so it is almost like a pay cut on the overtime side of it. Marsh asks if she wants to put them back on an hourly wage. Arthaud replies that she believes we should adjust them for the money they are going to lose. Messer does not believe it is a pay cut, overtime is not guaranteed. He would like to see this concept tried over some time and then take another look at it. There is no guarantee in the job description that you get overtime. He would also like to visit with past commissioners and see why they changed the department heads to non-exempt in 2017. Arthaud states we can’t just take away their overtime and not compensate them all at the same time. Richard states that as of now the only salary that has been adjusted because of losing overtime is Davenport’s. Davenport states that her overtime adjustment is because her position is 24/7, but she would be fine just flexing her time if needed, she doesn’t want to be the only exception. Messer would like to see us try the department heads salaried for some time. He believes we compensate well at the county level, along with our benefits package. CUSTODIAN The levy amount for 2023 is $174,343.14. ELECTIONS The levy amount for 2023 is $5,000.00. Richard advises as 2023 is not an election year, this would be for equipment maintenance or if some small expense came up. PUBLIC SAFETY The levy amount for 2023 is $3,036,107.00. LAW ENFORCEMENT MAINTENANCE Richard advises the budget for this was sent to her by the LEC and reflects our share and also includes the $220,000 for dispatchers. Richard reports the line for capital improvements for $72,000.00 was removed. The levy amount for 2023 is $401,572.86. DISASTER EMERGENCY Richard states the overtime line will be decreased to $2,000. The levy amount for 2023 is $242,030.20. E911 Richard states the overtime line will be decreased to $1,000.00. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY The levy amount for 2023 is $661,670.00. COUNTY PARK The levy amount for 2023 is $384,137.00. Richard advises the overtime line will need to be adjusted if Heiser is moved to salary. She also states the $120,000.00 Fair Event Activities line does include the $80,000.00 for the Roughrider Commission. Heiser spoke regarding overtime and states to the commission that they can’t just eliminate overtime to save dollars. She states she is also 24/7 for a period of time and over 3 years her overtime average is $5,982.00 which will be a lost income for her. Heiser listed other duties she does for the county, that save the county money, and says she will not accept a salaried position that is going to be lower than what she currently gets and has gotten over the last 3 years. Marsh asks her if she needs to hire help to take some of the load off. Heiser says potentially. Heiser tells the commission they need to ask themselves why are they moving people to salary instead of hourly. If your sole purpose is to save dollars that is not the correct way to do it. Marsh responds that in his mind, it is not to save dollars, it’s to make everything consistent between the department heads. Heiser states that in the past some people were taken off salary because there were attendance issues. She also states that the commission won’t be able to find a like position to hers in the state, you would have to go outside of the state. Messer tells Heiser she brings a lot to the table and that they had talked briefly about going fully salary, they are setting the budget today and he would like to do some additional research and get some questions answered. He states he is not in favor of handpicking which departments get overtime. Heiser said she assumed that when they had the conversation about moving to salary overtime would be included. Richard asks Messer if he would like more information from the department heads that feel they would like a salary adjustment and that is something we would look at in the October meeting. Messer states yes and he has questions he would like to search out his answers to. VETERAN’S SERVICE OFFICER Arthaud asks if the JPA’s with the 3 counties are current. Clifton states they are current, she speaks with the county auditors each year and those JPA’s roll over each year. Marsh brings the County Park back up and asks if we need to add a line item for a seasonal employee. Messer suggests that would be up to the park board. Arthaud asks Heiser to put that on the next park board agenda. COUNTY ROAD & BRIDGE The levy for 2023 is 11.5 mills. COUNTY ROADS UNORGANIZED Richard states the Prairie Dog Funding line is an estimate of what we will get if the bucket fills. The levy for 2023 is 18 mills. HIGHWAY DISTRIBUTION Richard states this is not levied as this comes from the Highway Tax Distribution. There was also an additional employee added. CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT Richard states we are not levying any dollars for Capital Improvement. The estimate for the Courthouse improvements needs to be added to the budget yet. COUNTY JAIL Richards advises this uses the County Capital Projects Levy. She moved the SMCC Contribution to this budget. EMERGENCY FUND Richard advises not currently levying any dollars. COUNTY AGENT Richard reports not currently levying any dollars. The Billings County share needs to be removed from the revenue as they won’t be levying any taxes this year. WEED CONTROL Richard reports this is levied at the 4 full mills, they also get state aid distribution. There is also a general fund transfer in, which is a reimbursement for retirement, health, and FICA VICTIM WITNESS Richard advises that the entire Victim Witness salary was put on the grant application, so needs to be put on the budget. The transfer from general is at $35,000.00 but could change as it is an amount as needed so the account isn’t in the red. HEALTH INSURANCE Richard says Pearcy looked into BCBS through Bravera, BCBS directly, and our NDPERS plan through Sanford. The BCBS plan through Bravera has 4 tiers to fall under, and that could save us dollars. The plan is almost identical to our current plan. This could potentially save the county and employees $152,000 annually. Richard suggests we do an 85% county-paid share instead of 75%. Messer would like to see the information and also a history of BCBS rate increases. Richard also states that Pearcy has surveyed the staff and will have her send the results to the commission. COMPENSATION MOTION BY: Commissioner Marsh SECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud To go forward with a 5% increase on salaries, as per the budget plan, and to go up to 90% on health insurance. DISCUSSION: Messer doesn’t believe they have enough information to decide on the health insurance, he would like to review the information and decide at the October meeting. AMENDED MOTION BY: Commissioner Marsh AMENDED SECOND BY: Commissioner Arthaud To go forward with a 5% increase on salaries, as per the budget plan. DISCUSSION: Messer asked for a point of clarification – some numbers are different from 5%, so it is the numbers we talked about today in the various department budgets? Marsh responds yes. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Marsh - aye, Messer- aye, Franchuk - aye, Zander – aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Arthaud states the insurance and ARPA discussion will need to be discussed at the October 6 meeting. Richard asks the commission if they want to discuss the other ARPA requests. Messer asks if we have received formal requests from all of them. Richard advises we have. MOTION BY: Commissioner Zander SECONDED BY: Commissioner Franchuk To approve the 2023 ARPA Funding Requests for Elder Care, Stark County Council on Aging, Airport, and Community Action. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Zander - aye, Franchuk - aye, Marsh - aye, Messer – aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. The commission agrees to wait on the Library request. Zander brought up the inflation reimbursement to the staff through the ARPA fund. He believes we should agree on that now. Arthaud believes we should wait until we decide on health insurance. Zander doesn’t believe that the insurance decision should reflect on the ARPA funding, as ARPA doesn’t affect the budget, this is a one-time thing. Messer states the insurance and ARPA depend on each other, he is not willing to commit a dollar amount on ARPA until we know the insurance amount. Zander states you are talking about 2 different things. He has talked to staff and they are all appreciative of the ARPA funds and that money should be in their pockets already. Arthaud thinks we need to consider a tax break for the taxpayers of Stark County too, as inflation is affecting them also. Franchuk says he agrees with Zander that part of the ARPA funding was to be used to retain employees and we haven’t given anything to the employees. Zander states the staff has worked through some difficult times and this money is something that could help them. We have been handing this ARPA money out to everybody and we need to look out for our employees. Commissioner Messer made MOTION to adjourn at 11:51 AM, Commissioner Franchuk SECONDED, Adjourned. Karen Richard, Auditor Carla Arthaud, Chairman (Oct. 19, 2022) 111491